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Oklahoma five-star LB Caleb Kelly indicated that in choosing between Notre Dame and Oklahoma, he placed the school names under a pair of hats and had his mom select.

Said Kelly, "I opened up the piece of paper and it was OU and I just felt a weight get lifted off of my shoulders. I was like ‘that’s it mama, that’s where I’m going’." The 6-foot-3, 222-pounder sounded legitimately split between the two schools, but Sooners DC Mike Stoops played an instrumental role here. As Kelly recalled it, Stoops told his mom during a vist, "Caleb knows that no one wants him as bad as we do, and we love Caleb and we’ve already created such a strong bond with him, why would he want to break that?"
Source: rivals.com
Feb 7 - 4:42 PM

Oklahoma signed four-star DE Mark Jackson.

Jackson made official visits to Texas A&M, Texas and Oklahoma in January. Neither of the Lone Star State squads managed to lure the Cibolo, Texas, native to their cause. At 6-foot-3, 226 pounds, he's somewhat lean right now, but should be able to add to his frame in the OU weight room. Scout.com loves his pass-rush ability, calling him "an aggressive force [who] stood out rushing the quarterback and making plays behind the line of scrimmage." They note that it's possible Jackson eventually evolves into a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end. Scout ranks him as their 149th overall high school prospect, while the ESPN 300 notches him slightly lower at No. 186.
Source: scout.com
Feb 7 - 2:31 PM

Oklahoma signed four-star QB Austin Kendall.

Kendall--a North Carolina native--measures 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. ESPN 300 ranks him as the 162nd best recruit in this class. The traditional pocket passer received interest from Auburn, Boston College and Clemson (among others) before he opted to join Bob Stoops crew. In 12 games at Cuthbertson High as a senior, he threw for 2,627 yards (63.9% completions) while compiling a 23/12 TD/INT ratio. He threw 49 touchdown passes as a junior. ESPN notes that he's "not an overly dynamic athlete, but a functional one nonetheless." The outlet compares him to former South Carolina QB Conner Shaw. Kendall's a logical redshirt candidate given that Baker Mayfield's entrenched at starter, but we'll have to wait to see how Stoops plays this one.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 6 - 1:36 PM

Five-star LB Caleb Kelly signed with Oklahoma.

Unlike most of the kids on National Signing Day, Kelly didn't make his intentions known until well into the evening. The 6-foot-3, 222-pound linebacker out of Fresno was deciding between Oregon, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, with the latter two generally thought to be the front-runners for his services. Scout.com ranks him at No. 17 overall. Site analyst Greg Biggins noted that Kelly's "one of those rare outside linebackers that can rush the passer, is strong against the run and drop back in to coverage." Biggins sees him as a weakside linebacker with the Sooners, but added that the Californian has the sort of rangey game you'd normally see out of a safety.
Source: scout.com
Feb 4 - 1:07 PM

Four-star DT Chris Daniels signed with Texas.

Texas lands a direct strike on their Big 12 Rival. Daniels had previously been committed to Oklahoma since just before Christmas. No longer. Scout.com notes that the 6-foot-4, 299-pounder blends the size of a defensive tackle with a defensive end's "get off and explosion. In January, ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill wrote that he believes that Daniels could eventually evolve into one of the better linemen in the conference, though he wants to see more technique added to those already terrifying physical tools.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 3 - 6:39 PM

Four-star Oklahoma LB commitment Bryce Youngquist won't sign on National Signing Day.

While Youngquist won't be among the slew of Wednesday's official signings, he indicated via Twitter that he remains committed to the Sooners. Said the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, "I will forego signing on National Signing Day due to personal reasons." He went on to thank Oklahoma's coaching staff for their understanding. As for his work on the field, Scout.com's Greg Biggins noted that Youngquist is "already good in space and with his natural athleticism, will make huge strides in his ability to drop back and cover at the next level"
Feb 1 - 11:16 PM

Pro Football Focus ranks Oklahoma redshirt junior QB Baker Mayfield as the No. 2 returning player in college football.

By extension, the site sees him as the best returning signal-caller in the sport. "He ranked No. 1 in our QB grades against Power-5 competition, and stood out for his overall accuracy, his deep-ball accuracy, and his performance when facing the opponent’s pass rush (that is, until he faced Clemson)," wrote Jeff Dooley. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Mayfield threw for 3,700 yards and a 36/7 TD/INT ratio in 2015.
Feb 1 - 7:43 PM

The Big 12 Conference will seriously discuss expansion at its conference meetings this week, reports the Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy.

A source told DeCourcy that BYU remains attractive but has "obstacles that appear to be too considerable," including an unwillingness to compete on Sundays. The Big 12 will reportedly consider Cincinnati, Connecticut, Central Florida and South Florida. University of Oklahoma president David Boren has long lobbied for the league to expand, arguing that the Big 12 is at a disadvantage to rival leagues with 12-15 schools. A recent rule change does allow 10-team leagues to hold a championship game, which lessens some of the pressure to add. Stay tuned.
Feb 1 - 4:11 PM

Oklahoma senior Sterling Shepard is the best route running WR in the 2016 NFL Draft, according to Matt Harmon of NFL.com.

Shepard is "already showing great ability to execute even the most in-depth and nuanced aspects of route assignments like an NFL veteran," per Harmon, who does great work on receivers. Shepard, who had a solid yet unspectacular Senior Bowl week, has been a long time staple of the Sooners' offense. Shepard posted a high success rate against man and press coverage.
Feb 1 - 12:03 PM

Pro Football Focus analyst Steve Palazzolo wrote that Oklahoma edge rusher Eric Striker is "an interesting player" due to his "excellent pass rush production in college."

Palazzolo couldn't complete his assessment without calling Striker "undersized," but so it goes for the 6-foot, 221-pound former Sooner. In 2015, he recorded 67 tackles (17.5 for loss), seven sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. The numbers are nothing new, either, as Striker posted nine sacks and 17 tackles for loss in 2014. In his final analysis, Palazzolo offered a rhetorical question. "LB + blitz/rush chess piece?" He's a potential mover as the spring draft approaches, but in mid-November was tagged as a Day Three selection by CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler.
Jan 30 - 4:10 PM

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay noted that Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard " proved this [Senior Bowl practice] week...that he's one of the best route runners in this class."

Shepard's lack of top-end speed has already been documented, but McShay believes he makes up for that with a number of other attributes. "With good hands and quick feet," wrote the veteran analyst, "he has the look of a natural slot receiver at the next level." The 5-foot-10, 195-pound wideout caught 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season. Rotoworld's Josh Norris is likewise enamored, writing earlier this month that Shepard is "already precise in some of his breaks, creating separation and sustaining it." The former Sooner's also a catching savant (PFF graded him as having the best catch-rate in the country) and has the ability to haul in passes in contested situations.
Jan 29 - 7:37 PM

By Pro Football Focus' 2015 grades, Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard was the best wide receiver in the nation and also posted the best catch rate of any receiver.

"It would be unfair to label him as simply a slot receiver, as he demonstrated remarkable efficiency on deep routes," the PFF staff wrote. "He caught all 10 of the catchable balls thrown to him on passes that traveled 20 or more yards downfield, including four touchdowns. That’s a limited sample size, but shows what he’s capable of when utilized as a deep target." We totally agree and have made the same point, as have others. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior finished his final college season with an 86-1,288-11 receiving line. "He looks like he has a strong frame to absorb contact, and he showed the ability to separate from coverage during one-on-one drills," wrote PFF. The site believes Shepard may be "the best wide receiver prospect in Mobile this week." Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks him as the No. 22 overall prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft and the third-best player at the Senior Bowl.
Jan 28 - 8:04 PM

Oklahoma president David Boren said, "I would emphasize--I don’t think the Big 12 Conference is in any danger of falling apart."

Boren expanded on his point, noting, "There’s no imminent danger of [a Big 12 collapse], nor is there anybody even considering that, I don’t think." He went so far as to say he hopes to expand from 10 to 12 teams. It's nice that Boren's saying these things, but if you have to yell at your top of the lungs that the sky isn't falling, the sky might actually be falling. In related Big 12 news, Boren indicated that it's unlikely there will be a vote on a potential title game next week. 2017 is thought to be the earliest that such a contest would start taking place.
Jan 28 - 5:26 PM

Oklahoma graduate WR Geno Lewis should be able to secure a starting gig.

ESPN's Andrea Adelson points out that the door is wide open for immediate playing time with Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal having moved on. Lewis transferred over from Penn State earlier this month. While he logged 55 catches for 751 yards and two touchdowns in 2014, Lewis regressed to only 17 catches last year in the stagnant Nittany Lion offense.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 27 - 7:53 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris thinks Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard "can win in contested situations without creating separation."

The analyst argued that Shepard should not be catalogued solely as a small-game receiver. "Granted, Shepard mostly wins in the typical 'small game,' burst, explosion out of cuts, creating separation, zone spacing awareness and yards after the catch," he wrote. "However, this year I saw Shepard haul in difficult catches more than in years past. Catches that required adjustment, ones that required arm extension." Shepard, a two-time All-Big 12 selection, posted 86 catches for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. Norris ranks him as the No. 22 overall prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft and the third-best player at the Senior Bowl.
Source: Rotoworld
Jan 26 - 3:46 PM


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